Intern Segment: Recapping My First Few Months of Interning at Northwood

northwood_financial_services_interns_2Earlier this year, we welcomed two new students from CPUT into the Northwood FinancialServices cc family.

This is Ayanda Shenzane’s recap of his internship thus far.

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“When I started my in-service training on the first of July, I was expecting to be placed directly into a work task and perform what was required of me. Instead, I was surprised by what happened. Instead of diving headfirst into tasks and processes, my boss wanted to get to know me better with a Life Inventory exercise. The funny thing was, that I didn’t know myself, and I had to think deeply about the experiences that had happened in my life, that made me who I am today.

The other unexpected thing that happened on my first day was that my boss called out every employee to the boardroom where we all had lunch together and networked. We were given the space to get to know each other better and form connections from the very first day. I loved the fact that when my boss spoke, he wanted to know where each employee sees themselves in five years time. Also, he encouraged his employees to keep learning and gaining knowledge. I was very motivated because it showed that my boss was very interested in us as employees, and wanted to see us grow and become better in our field.

The other exercise that I completed with my boss was discussing the six things that I would save from my home in the event of a fire. When we reflected on this, as well as the first exercise of the Life Inventory, I realised that I was learning about my personality very quickly.

northwood_financial_services_interns_1The most important thing that I gained in my in-service training – and I thank my boss for – is helping me develop my voice and not letting people walk all over me. I was a very closed off person before my in-service training, and my boss has challenged me to have a voice, and to speak my mind. As I am involved in an events planning business, my in-service training has helped to understand even more aspects of doing business.

The other thing that most of us don’t know is how insurance works. Most of our parents are only interested in life cover insurance but through my in-service training, I learned about the importance of having desirability and dread disease cover. After learning about various forms of cover, I was a pain in my parents home because I wanted to see their insurance documents, and kept on asking them if the whether they had desirability and dread disease cover. I wanted answers!

The other thing I had to learn in my in-service training is being responsible. We all say that we are responsible until we are given a task to perform – then we truly see that we are not as responsible as we think we are. During my in-service training, I was given a key to open the office since I was always the first person to arrive at work. I still remember the first day that I had to open the office – I checked the alarm five times because I thought I hadn’t entered the correct code. It turns out, the code was right and I was just stressing over nothing.

For me, the in-service training has been a learning curve because I have grown so much as a person in such a short time. I have learned a lot with regard to my career path, and I have improved my presentation and public speaking skills. I was really shy about talking in front of people, but now I can speak in front of thousands of people with confidence and give a good presentation.”

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